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Shell given EU approval for First Utility acquisition

The European Commission has given its approval for the Shell Petroleum Company (Shell) acquisition of First Utility.

In December, Shell released a statement that said it will buy 100 per cent of independent energy provider, First Utility. It said at the time that the deal was set to complete in early 2018, subject to “regulatory and other approvals”.

The EU Commission said in a statement: “The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Impello Limited by the Shell Petroleum Company, both of the UK. Impello is an independent energy supplier to household customers in the UK and Germany, active under the brand First Utility.”

It added that the proposed acquisition “would raise no competition concerns because of the limited positions of the companies on the markets for the wholesale and retail supply of electricity, as well as gas in the UK and Germany.”

When the acquisition was first announced Mark Gainsborough, Shell’s executive vice president of New Energies, said: “This combination [with First Utility] will enable Shell to enter a new part of the energy market in the UK and to improve choice for customers by delivering innovative services at competitive prices.”

Shell Energy Europe Limited (SEEL), the Shell group’s European gas and power marketing and trading business, will continue to supply wholesale gas and electricity to energy retailers in the UK and Europe, including First Utility.

In 2015, a licensing agreement between Shell Brands International and First Utility meant that First Utility could operate in the German household energy sector under the Shell brand.

After the deal is completed, First Utility will operate as a stand-alone entity and wholly owned subsidiary of Shell within its New Energies division.

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